“Nightcrawler” Oscar for Jake Gyllenhaal?

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

There has been a lot of Oscar talk around Jake Gyllenhall’s performance in “Nightcrawler”, recently. The story is about driven sociopath who learns about the underground industry of filming scenes of accidents, crimes and fires. The story completely relies on the performance of it’s star, and he does not disappoint.


Nightcrawler begins with an introduction to this character we see develop throughout the film. He attacks a security guard who catches him stealing copper wire.

He is not a good man and this is not a heartwarming story.

Shortly thereafter, Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) witnesses a car crash and a film crew who gets on a call to sell crash scene footage immediately after getting a short clip of the wreckage. This is the character’s call to action. Bloom decides to trade in a bike he stole to a pawn shop for an old camcorder and a radio scanner.

He gets some footage of a car jacking and is able to negotiate a sale of his amateur footage to the morning news director of a struggling local news station.

A complicated and near sociopathic character herself, Nina, played marvelously by Rene Russo, gives a speech that would only inspire a character like Bloom. She tells him to continue getting quality footage but to focus on violence in affluent neighborhoods, at one point saying,

“A murder in Compton isn’t news.”

The next two scenes gives us a deeper insight into Gyllenhaal’s character. He hires a desperate assistant whose pay he negotiates down to $30 a night. The two go together to their first crime scene where we first see the willingness of Bloom to do whatever it takes to get material he can sell.

It works.

He is eventually able to purchase a better camera and a sleek red sports car, presumably to get him to scenes quicker. He does not, however, give his assistant a raise.

Bloom’s rival company eventually offers him a job after turning him down before. Bloom’s response is to cut the brake fluid in his van which results in an accident. Bloom films it.

At this point, we know this man is a sociopath, but what comes still surprises……